The Decision to Compete Later in Life
My hunger for competition and athletic challenge has been in my blood since I was young
After having a family, this part of my life had taken a backseat yet my hunger still existed. Five years ago I picked up mountain biking and dipped into the race scene as a social competitor. After an injury to my back in 2013, I began taking up road cycling because the smooth surface of the road helped keep me on a bike yet allowed my back to heal completely. In 2015 with a healed body and a new road bike, I caught the official race bug and I began to consider racing on a more serious level.
I spent 2015 exploring other races outside of mountain biking
Such as criteriums, cyclocross, and road racing. At events, I would talk to competitors about how long they had been racing and what type of training they had been doing to prepare for the event. I was astounded to hear such a mix bag of responses. I received the greatest pleasure listening to individuals that were exceptional racers that began their race “career” later in life however, I still questioned my own capabilities.
At the age of thirty-five, could I really enter into an endurance sport and start seriously training for something new like I did back in my teens and twenties? Did I really have the time to be competitive and train properly without jeopardizing my family and friends? Is my body capable of handling the stress and training that it will take to be fast, strong, and competitive?
All of these questions and more are something I ponder on a daily basis as the 2016 race season is quickly approaching
With the registration in my hand for the 36-Mile Barry Roubaix gravel road race on April 16th, 2016, I have officially answered my very first question. Yes, I am still capable of entering an endurance sport like I did in my teens and twenties. While I’ve competed in the Barry Roubaix in prior years at the beginner level, this year I am officially entered into my first team category racing the 36 mile event for the Clark Logic Women’s Team and I couldn’t be prouder.
The ladies of Clark Logic are fast, furious and competitive
The pressure to live up to the team’s talent is one that will take some serious training. Over the next two months I will begin to live through my remaining questions of balancing family and friends, and whether or not the later “me” will be able to handle the stress of rigorous training. I want to invite you all to take a ride with me through this journey; offer advice, tips, tricks or words of encouragement and wisdom. I’m sure I’ll need it as I embark on my first team race later in life.
Keep riding! Be #Strongher
About Meg Zapalowski
Meg Zapalowski of Kalamazoo is the creator of Infinity Cycling. Her passion for the cycling industry has transformed into inspiration by creating communities throughout the United States that embrace, empower, and encourage others to ride a bike. Their Mission Statement: Uniting women, cycling and industry together for eternity. Meg was always competitive, but just recently, after starting a family, she decided to start racing on a more serious level. She is going to take us with her in her journey and will be blogging for us regularly.
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